Ever found yourself with a crudite platter? You know, the trays with containers of cut vegetables and a little plastic bowl of dip? You might find one when you’re cleaning up after a party, and some well-meaning guest brought a crudite platter which people barely touched. And then there you are with a huge tray of cold, crunchy vegetables. What do you do?
Me, I can only take so much raw veg, so I roast them. Toss the broccoli florets, carrot sticks, and cauliflower with a good drizzle of olive oil and some seasonings; I like salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little cayenne for kick. Then spread them in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Add the tomatoes after. Tomatoes are fragile and don’t like getting tossed with harder vegetables.
Roast at 350F for as long as seems appropriate. K likes cooking the vegetables until they’re just a bit brown on the outside, but still crunchy on the inside; I like roasting them to utter oblivion, until the tips of the florets darken and the carrots are limp and the tomatoes are wrinkled little sacks. It’s your call; just check up on them every now and then to make sure they don’t burn. You can serve them alongside any kind of entree, or just eat them as is, fresh from the oven. Put the leftovers in the fridge; they’ll reheat.
Our house is also currently well supplied with fruit. The CSA peaches were so perfect and juicy that I couldn’t wait an entire week to get more; I headed out to the farmers market on Sunday and bought an $8 basketful. Some were firm and some were so soft and ripe that they just begged to be eaten that very day.
I also picked up a $3 quart of apples from the same vendor but sadly, those weren’t as good — the flavor was okay, but the texture was very mealy, and I prefer my apples crunchy. Still, they make perfectly decent afternoon snacks.
To round out my non-CSA fruit and veg experience, I’ve been getting a lot of produce from a coworker of mine who has a garden that’s producing overtime. For a while he was picking two cucumbers a day, and lately he’s been inundated with tomatoes. I helped myself to some of his extras: sweet, delicious cherry tomatoes, normal red tomatoes, and little green tomatoes called “green zebra stripe.” They’re all fantastic. We like serving tomato slices alongside fried eggs for breakfast, sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Perfect peaches and ripe, juicy tomatoes. I love summer.